Another great Dutch Springs weekend

Scuba Shack was back at Dutch Springs this past weekend (Aug 17, 18 and 19) with three jammed pack days of diving. The water was a little higher than normal given all the rain happening in the Northeast this summer. While the algae kept visibility down a bit, the hot summer has warmed Dutch to a balmy 70+ all the way to the platforms. The pit of misery however is still in the upper 40s – perfect for the deep dive.

First up was setting up base camp on Friday, followed by a check out dive with Marla prior to the Instructor Exam. Matt and Marla successfully completed the PADI Instructor Exam on Saturday and Sunday. They are now proud Open Water Scuba Instructors for Scuba Shack. Congratulations Matt and Marla!

Keith and Mike successfully completed their Advanced Open Water certification with Jeff. We did the buoyancy, navigation, and wreck dive on Saturday, followed by the deep dive along with the search and recovery dive on Sunday. Congratulations Keith and Mike!

Jill and Chris from Scuba Shack staff ran a fantastic drive and dive taking DJ, Marion, and Mike on five different dives exploring various attractions at Dutch Springs.

We had a really nice dinner at Copperhead Grill on Saturday night with some great dive stories and other fish tales.

The plan is for at least one more trip to Dutch Springs the weekend of Sept. 28 – 30. The visibility will be really great that time of year and temperatures will still be comfortable.

See you there.

Photos from the weekend

Dutch Springs weekend report

Scuba Shack just wrapped up an awesome weekend of training and diving at Dutch Springs in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  Some great mid-summer weather allowed us to complete a full agenda over three days (July 27, 28 & 29) that included Instructor Development, Divemaster training, Advanced Open Water and a Drive and Dive.

Dutch Springs was a happening place for scuba diving. We were prepared for the crowd by staking out our prime spot on Friday afternoon. Our location was right behind the Wounded Warrior project and the brave veterans experiencing the freedom of scuba diving.

Matt and Marla were put through their IDC paces by Course Director Monty, assisted by Steve and Ron, while Emily completed her Advanced Open Water course with Jeff assisted by Alex and Ray.

Ray also did several dives with Adam down for the Dive and Drive. Karta and Amrit also made the trip to Dutch for a couple of days of diving.

Visibility came in at about 10 to 15 feet with temperatures on the platforms in the mid to upper 60s while in the mid 50s at depth. The water will continue to get warmer as we move into September and visibility is expected to improve when the nights get a little cooler.

Our next trip to Dutch Springs will be August 17 – 19 when Matt and Marla go through their Instructor Exam and we will hold another Advance Open Water course coupled with another Drive and Dive.

Come join us!

Photo Gallery

New location opens in Rocky Hill

Scuba Shack is now open in the Shunpike Business Center, 1275 Cromwell Ave A-6 in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. We are located around the back of the first building on your right. Directions are available right here, and we are located less than three minutes off I-91’s Exit 23.

We made the move over the weekend of April 14 & 15 with a lot of help from our friends! We could not have done it without their help – a heartfelt thanks go out to all.

After a couple of very long days, the showroom is now ready and open for business.

New Location Photos

GUE Fundamentals, Doubles & Dry Suit Classes at Dutch Springs

This past weekend, three students took part in a Global Underwater Explorers Fundamentals Class at Dutch Springs in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Students enrolled in programs covering double tank configurations, primary light use, and one completed their dry suit specialty course.

The classes were taught by Scuba Shack’s resident GUE Instructor Ed Hayes, and assisted by instructor Gary Woods. All students worked very hard to take their diving skills to the next level.

If you are interested in learning more about Global Underwater Explorers, the advantages of diving with doubles, a dry suit or a primary light, please contact the shop for more information.

GUE Fundamentals class at Dutch Springs

On Thursday Aug. 10, five students from Scuba Shack in Rocky Hill, Connecticut took part in a Global Underwater Explores Fundamentals Class at Dutch Springs in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

The class was taught by GUE Instructor Ed Hayes and assisted by Gary Woods. The intense training lasted until Sunday afternoon with multiple dives and lectures each day. Divers were trained in pre-dive, ascents and descents, buoyancy control, forward and backward propulsion, turns, air shares, “basic five,” surface marker buoy deployment, team diving skills and much more.

All dives were videotaped, reviewed and critiqued by the instructor and the students. Congratulations to all the students who participated and trained very hard to improve their diving skills.

If you are interested in taking your diving to the next level, the GUE Fundamentals Class could be for you. Please contact the shop for more information.

Students complete GUE Prep Class

On July 21 and 22, five divers completed the open water sessions for the GUE Prep Class that was conducted by Scuba Shack Instructor Gary Woods and GUE Instructor Ed Hayes. The two day in water class was preceded two classroom and pool sessions.

The intense training was held at Dutch Springs in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Students were trained in pre-dive, forward and backward propulsion, ascents and descent drills, air shares and “basic five” drills. This class was designed for students wishing to further their diving skills and to reach the goal of total control in the water. If you’re interested in the GUE Prep Class, or any other GUE programs, contact Scuba Shack today.

Congratulations to all the participants who worked very hard over two long days of diving with very good results.

 

Annual trip to the Bahamas – Hundreds of Sharks!

It’s hard to believe that a month has passed since May 24, the day the Scuba Shack gang invaded Nassau, Bahamas, for the annual Scuba Shack Memorial Day Weekend. Twenty one adventurers participated in another fun filled weekend led by Scuba Shack instructor Peter Katz. Our usual haunt, Orange Hill Beach Inn, had sustained significant damage during Hurricane Matthew back in October but managed to accommodate us. Perhaps not in the lap of luxury, more like Motel 6 only no light left on for us since it had burnt out years ago and no one has gotten around to replace it. But they managed to feed us breakfast every morning and provided an excellent BBQ on our last night.

The Stuart Cove dive staff were terrific! Unfortunately, our previous crew was no longer at the shop but our new crew, Captain Wendell, Divemasters Katie and Alex were able to fill the void. They did an excellent job and were more than willing and able to inject energy and enthusiasm into the trip.

Many of the dive sites have undergone changes since Matthew passed through which made for interesting dives. By far the dive highlight was the trip to the Lost Blue Hole and Rose Island. This year we did two dives at the hole. The first included a visit from a huge loggerhead turtle and a school of 100-150 sharpnosed sharks exiting from the depths of the hole, en masse. The second dive was a shark feed with eight Caribbean Reef Sharks up close and personal. How close you ask? Ask Anja whose mask was knocked off by one of the sharks as it swam by to partake of the feed.

Our evening out encompassed our usual favorites, Capriccio’s, Café Matisse, and Luciano’s. We were surprised to find that we were joined for dinner by Dan Marino and former Miami Dolphins as well as the mascot and cheerleaders. It turns out that Pete Walden went to college with Dan. The next thing we knew, people were posing for pictures with Dan. It made for an exciting evening.

Although we were missing a few of our regulars, the “newbies” joined right in and in no time felt like “regulars”. The best thing was we “old timers” were able to tell the same old stories and jokes to a new audience. All in all, everyone had a spectacular time and are looking forward to next year’s trip.

Nassau Trip Video

Nassau Trip Photo Gallery

Hundreds of Sharks!

Posted by Doug Shuckra on Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Grand Cayman Trip Report

I just got back from a five day trip to the Sunset House on Grand Cayman. It was a promotional deal to check out their facilities and the dive operation. The flight from Bradley was easy and fairly quick on American Airlines. The taxi ride to the resort took about 10 minutes and a smooth check in at the front desk. I stayed in a courtyard room which was clean and nice with two double beds, a front porch and a great view.

The resort has a nice pool with a waterfall, three ladders to access the beautiful Caribbean Sea for diving or swimming, a large covered bar with plenty of table seating, and a restaurant that serves three meals a day with waterside dining available.

The dive operations were exceptional. The Sunset House is designed for scuba divers and every aspect of the diving is smooth and easy. The dive boats are clean and in good condition with plenty of room on board, even with a large group. The shore diving was great with easy access to the water, and the house reef is as good as many of the dive boat sites. The crew was very accommodating and provided some of the best service I have seen.

If you are looking for a warm tropical getaway with great diving at a reasonable price, consider joining Scuba Shack in October for a week long adventure at the Sunset House on Grand Cayman.

Trip Photos

Trip Video

Fall PADI Rescue Diver class photos

In mid-November, five divers participated in the Open Water Rescue Scenarios at Brownstone Discovery & Exploration Park. All divers were students in Scuba Shack’s Rescue Diver Program which started in September.

After many classroom and pool sessions, divers were put through live rescue scenarios including panicked diver, lost diver and injured diver using multiple rescue techniques and included emergency oxygen therapy, AED, first aid and CPR.

Special thanks to Matt and Shannon who donated their time to be in water accident victims. The class was led by Scuba Shack instructors Nick Civitillo and Gary Woods.

Rescue Dive Photo Gallery

Dive Trip Report – Scuba Shack visits Bonaire

In mid-October, 23 divers including four instructors and three divemasters left on Scuba Shack’s Dive Trip to the beautiful island of Bonaire. After a long day of travel we arrived at the Divi Flamingo Resort. The hotel was very nice and located right on the water within walking distance to downtown Kralendijk. The resort featured two nice swimming pools, two ocean front restaurants; Chibi-Chibi and Pure Ocean, a casino and beach bar that had its grand re-opening on Friday. There was also a sandy beach and four nice docks stretching out into the water for swimming or sun bathing.

After a mandatory dive briefing on Saturday afternoon from the on-site dive center, Divi Dive, we had some much needed dinner and a good night’s rest to get ready for the big adventure on Sunday morning.

The dive operations, run by Serge De Groote, were exceptional! Dive lockers right on the boat dock made loading and unloading gear a breeze. Ed managed to get all 23 of us on one large dive boat and even with a big group; the dive trips were smooth and easy.

The trip package included a two tank boat dive every morning and unlimited shore diving. Many of us chose to do an additional afternoon boat dive which was offered at a much discounted price. The boats were clean and roomy and the divemasters and captains were as nice and as helpful as you could ask for.

The diving was especially good with water temps reaching 84 degrees and the visibility between 50 and 100 feet. Lots of fish, beautiful coral formations, octopus, turtles, tarpon and eels were to be found on most dives. Some of the more notable dive sites were The Salt Pier, Small Wall, Windsock and the wreck of The Hilma Hooker. The house reef was also very nice with many divers doing afternoon and night dives right off the boat dock.

Thanks again to all who participated for making this another fun and successful dive trip. Hope to see you all again on a future Scuba Shack dive vacation!

Underwater Photo Gallery from Gary Woods